COLUMBUS — A David City man accused of breaking into the Ramada-Columbus in the wee hours of Oct. 24 is facing the prospect of being convicted of burglary for the fifth time since 2005.
Johnathan Mally, 32, was charged with burglary, possession of burglary tools and being a habitual criminal in connection with the break-in at the 33rd Avenue hotel. His bond has been set at $100,000, 10 percent allowed for release.
Mally, who is scheduled for arraignment on the charges Nov. 21 in Platte County District Court, was previously convicted of burglary and sentenced to prison in Colfax County in 2005 and 2011, Platte County in 2011 and Saunders County in 2007. He has also been sentenced to prison for theft and drug convictions in Platte, Seward and Butler counties over the last 12 years.
Burglary is a Class 2A felony, punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. Possession of burglary tools is a Class IV felony with a maximum penalty of two years in prison and 12 months of post-release supervision.
The state’s habitual criminal law provides for mandatory maximum and minimum sentences that can add decades to a prison term.
Mally was arrested following a brief foot pursuit around 3:30 a.m. Oct. 24 outside the Ramada-Columbus after racing out of a bar area and across the courtyard before crashing through an exterior door while trying to make his escape.
Columbus Police officers stationed around the perimeter of the building subdued the suspect after he forcibly exited the hotel’s east doors, breaking them from their hinges and support structure.
Police were called to the business by an employee who reported a possible burglary in progress involving a suspect wearing a hooded sweatshirt in a closed area of the bar.
The caller, according to Officer Dale Ciboron’s probable cause arrest statement, reported observing the suspect’s feet moving beneath a curtain separating the bar from the front desk area.
“I entered through the curtain and encountered a suspect dressed completely in black clothing, including gloves and a ski mask, exposing only his eyes,” Ciboron wrote in his statement.
The startled suspect was ordered at gunpoint to get on the ground, but refused and ran out a side door, the officer wrote.
Police reported a 3-feet-long pry bar was found leaning against a doorway where the suspect had been, the same area that houses the business’ safes. Mally was shown on security video footage walking through the pool area carrying the pry bar.
An owner of the Ramada later identified Mally as a former employee who would have known where the hotel's safes are located.